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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 26, 2011 / 27 Elul, 5771

When is Photography a Crime?

By Diane Dimond






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The scene is repeated across America millions of times each year. Citizens raise their cameras to snap a picture and immortalize what they see. Taking photographs is as much of the American fabric as driving a car.

But since 9/11, that right has begun to erode like so many others — walking unencumbered onto an airplane; living without the multitude of leering surveillance cameras; gaining entrance to a public building without showing identification.

I get the reason for all the cautious security, I honestly do. I think our country is still under the threat of a terrorist attack. But some of those with badges tasked with monitoring the threat overstep their bounds in the name of national security. I can't get over the feeling that every time they overreact, the terrorists — who are determined to change our freedom-loving way of life — win.

The Patriotic Act of 2011 expanded law enforcement powers to search for evidence of possible terrorist activity. The law says nothing about allowing officers to order us to put down our cameras, cell phones and other recording devices. Yet, in case after case, it is this law that's invoked when a security official wants to get a civilian to stop taking pictures.

I've read about all sorts of horror stories involving the seemingly innocent taking of photographs.

In February, Nancy Geovese stopped her car on a public road outside a public airport and took a picture she thought would be great for her "Support Our Troops" website. After this mother of three snapped photos of a decorative helicopter display, she was arrested by Suffolk County, N.Y., officers and told she was being charged with terrorism. After a long ordeal, including being put into a straitjacket and a solitary cell, she was charged with criminal trespass. Geovese sued the town and police department for $70 million in a case that is still pending.

Then there was the story of a veteran NASA employee named Walter Miller who was spotted taking pictures of an art exhibit near the Indianapolis City-County building. He was detained and told to stop because "homeland security" prohibited photos of the facility. Just so you understand the nonsensical nature of this, Google that Indiana building and see how many pictures of the structure are already out there.

If the subject of someone's photograph happens to be a police officer the photographer can be in serious jeopardy — even if they take the picture in their own home.


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In Houston, a homeowner named Francisco Olvera was having a house party when an officer responded to a noise complaint. When asked for his identification, Olvera went to get his wallet. He did not think the officer had the right to follow him inside so he snapped his picture with his cell phone. Big mistake. Olvera was charged with illegal photography, public intoxication and loud music. All charges were later dropped.

Anthony Graber, a motorcyclist in Maryland, admits he was speeding on the highway and should have anticipated he might be pulled over by a state trooper. But he failed to turn off his helmet cam during the stop, and after he posted the video on the Internet, Graber got the surprise of his life. He was indicted for violating the state's wiretapping laws. He faces up to 16 years in prison.

In Seattle, amateur photographer Bogdan Mohora happened to be an eye-witness to police arresting a man on a public street. By his account, he was 10 feet away when he took a few pictures and began to walk away. The officers followed and demanded his camera. When Mohora asked what he had done wrong, he was handcuffed and taken to the precinct. No charges were filed, but he was told he could have been arrested for provoking a riot or endangering a police officer. Mohora won an $8,000 settlement with the city.

I could go on and on with cases of civilians — and some members of the accredited media — begin harassed for taking a photo or a few minutes of video. But I think you get my drift.

For those who think over-vigilant security is better than being lax, the words of security expert Bruce Schneier may be of interest. "Look at the 9/11 attacks, the Moscow and London subway bombings, the Fort Hood shooting — no photos," he says. "I'm not seeing a whole lot of plots that hinge on photography."

Other security professionals point to the POSITIVE aspects of a citizenry armed with Canons, Nikons and flip-cams. After the unsuccessful Times Square car-bombing, detectives found clues about the suspect in home movies shot by tourists. Police departments across the country are making arrests by watching videos posted on YouTube by shortsighted shutterbugs.

I don't want to give up any more of my rights as an American citizen. And I don't think we need to if only we would adequately train all security personnel about the specifics of the law in their state.

Citizens have every right to take a picture or video in a public place, as long as they don't disturb the peace or impede police from doing their duty. To think otherwise is downright un-American.

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Investigative journalist and syndicated columnist Diane Dimond has covered all manner of celebrity and pop culture stories.


Previously:



09/19/11 Laws to Catch Up With Science






© 2011, Creators Syndicate